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Business Change Management

Business Change Management

Hire Anthropologists! It Might Be Your Smartest Business Move

On Oct 13, 2018 7:27:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: anthropology, corporate anthropologist, Corporate Anthropology, Andrea Simon, business change management, business leadership

Recently I was interviewed by INSIDE Public Accounting on the business applications of corporate anthropology. I will be speaking at IPA's 2018 PRIME Symposium conference, so this interview served as a kind of sneak peek into what I will focus on in the culture change workshop I'll be conducting. (You can read the entire interview here.)

My focus was on the importance of observational research to better understand why people behave the way they do, especially when interacting with a product or service. By observing behaviors, anthropologists are trained to see things people do not always know they are doing. These observations then lead to all types of insights, changes to processes, modifications to services, and even innovations.

Equally important was how these "new" ideas and insights help organizations rethink what they are doing. Often, they can better hone in on their targets because now they have a deeper understanding of their own "ways of doing things" and how well they align (or don't align) with their customers' needs.

Since we know that change is painful, observing with fresh eyes how something is being done can often enable people to better see ways to change those habits. Pretty amazing insights emerge from a little anthropology!

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How Blockchain is Transforming Business, Today!

On Oct 11, 2018 9:16:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: technological innovation, blockchain, block chain, Andrea Simon, corporate anthropologist, Culture Change

Blockchain technology is continuously improving and developing, and it’s here to stay. It might have seen its first application with the advent of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, but its real potential lies in its ability to transform the business landscape as we know it.

What's Blockchain, You Ask?

Basically, blockchain is a digital ledger that currently is used to track, record and store transactions on blocks. When applied to business, these same blocks of data have the potential to perform any type of sale, goods exchange, contract, payment, monitoring or recording.

As this technology becomes fine-tuned over the coming decade, companies will start to integrate blockchain more and more into their processes and business relationships. And with so much potential on the horizon, it’s worth taking a look at how exactly blockchain technology can transform business.

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Owners Of Family Businesses Better Have A Good Succession Plan

On Oct 26, 2017 8:45:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Family Firms, Culture Change, corporate anthropologist

Did you know that family-owned firms account for 66% of businesses around the world yet only 16% of them have succession plans? That's a scary thought. 

In the U.S. alone, family firms comprise 80%-90% of all business enterprises, generating 64% of the GNP and employing 62% of the workforce. Clearly, family firms are incredibly important to the global economy, which is why the issue of succession should be approached very intentionally to ensure the ongoing health of these businesses, as I write in a recent article for Daily News.

As a corporate anthropologist, a culture change expert and a daughter raised in a family business, I have a particularly strong interest in helping family firms successfully prepare for their succession.

If you're starting to think about the future of your family business, consider these six steps as you prepare to hand over the reins to the next generation (abridged version...read the full article here).
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Broken Corporate Cultures: Time To Stop Blaming And Start Fixing

On Oct 14, 2016 9:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Andrea Simon, Corporate Anthropology, corporate anthropologist, Corporate Culture

Sadly, more and more these days it seems that there's an epidemic of business leaders refusing to take responsibility for their or their company's actions, passing the buck to whomever they can: employees, the press, a computer glitch, the global economic turnaround...the list goes on.

What has happened to corporate integrity? To the notion of "the buck stops here"?

As a corporate anthropologist, I believe the problem clearly lies in a dysfunctional culture. Every company has its own individual culture, a set of habits, rules and moréssometimes openly communicated, sometimes unspokenthat govern how employees interact and get along. When this culture is faulty, as we are seeing so often these days, employees can easily lost their way.

Our guest blogger, Cheryl McMillanCEO Coach with Vistage International, has written an excellent and very timely blog on the subject, which I share here. Enjoy.

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Is Your Business Stuck? Maybe It Needs a New Corporate Culture!

On Mar 22, 2016 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Andrea Simon, Change Management, Culture Change, corporate anthropologist

 Is this how you feel, pushing your business forward? For far too many of our clients, growth has slowed. Maybe even stalled! Gone in the wrong direction? Let me share some of the illustrations and see if they fit your company?

  • One case was a fast growing entrepreneur who found his network shifting to other solutions.
  • A client in the B2B world was watching his competitors get acquired and the roll-ups were better able to buy and supply his clients. Growth was a challenge.
  • After a talk I gave to real estate brokers we heard the endless lament that they weren't growing because of how younger people bought homes.
  • In another case a real estate broker couldn't seem to find new agents.
  • Another was an insurance company that was frustrated that young people weren't getting married in their twenties any longer. So they weren't buying houses and needing insurance. In fact, those Millenials were renting apartments and not even buying cars.

When we looked at the business environments from the outside in, the problem seemed to be with those Millenials or the other solutions or the roll-up consolidations. "Not my problem" was the common retort. 

The solution was going to be hard if we had to change our societal trends. Instead, as corporate anthropologists we suggested that they look at their strategy and business to see if it was time to change their business model, their culture and their strategies.

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